A full recap of Toronto’s Pillow-Fight Day

Nikon D800, 1/1600 sec., f/5.6, ISO 200, 14mm

Who’s the champion of this pillow-fight?

I was heading downtown today to run an errand and as luck would have it, I found out before leaving that it was International Pillow Fight Day today, and Toronto was participating. I didn’t know anything about this event, nor had I heard anything about it before, but I figured I’d take my camera with me anyway just to see what all this pillow-talk was about. It was a little bit of a cool day, but the sun helped out with the warmth, most likely bringing in more people to the event.

Spectators of the event

Spectators of the event

Starting promptly at 3pm, it really was just a massive city-wide pillow fight at city hall. At first the crowd looked large. But a closer look revealed that there were a lot of spectators on the sidelines—almost to the point that I thought there were more of them than actual participants. But as time passed by, more and more people came—some dressed in their PJs, or some other interesting costume of choice.

Let’s Play Dress-Up

A few people really got into the event by dressing up in costumes or their PJs—including a mock CTV anchorwoman who got pummelled by pillow-fight enthusiasts. Hopefully this event made for some interesting footage. I was also happy to see that Prime Minister Harper joined in on the fun too, although he was quickly brought down to his knees.

He was quickly whacked from all directions

He was quickly whacked from all directions

The Pillow Fight

The pillow fights came in waves as people no doubt needed a break from whacking everybody. The rules stated not to hit people without pillows, or those with cameras, but who follows these with all the excitement around you? I had to protect myself and my camera from getting hit but there’s only so much one can do when you’re concentrated on taking action shots. I did get bumped around here and there, and on the occasion, hit in the head with some pillows. It was a rude awakening…hehe…

The event wasn’t just for adults either. Kids of all ages participated as well, most of them being piggy-backed by their parents. People being piggy-backed actually make for some great photography, since they stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Pillow-fight Toronto

Kids of all ages joined in the fun

Let’s Focus Here

Focusing at events like this where the subject can be hard to keep track of can be challenging. This is exactly the moment where you can take advantage of your back-focus button. While I’ll leave the details of this technique in another post, as a summary, this allows you to pre-focus on a range, and then just fire away. As long as your subject stays within your range, you’ll get tack sharp images that you can be happy with.

Pre-focus, then shoot so you get these precious moments

Pre-focus, then shoot so you get these precious moments

The Aftermath

I didn’t stay until the very end, so I captured the ground of city hall, right before I left. There were lots of cotton balls and even a sunglass, that was probably not the best thing to wear to an event such as this.

Remnants of pillows.

Remnants of pillows.

There were pillows flying in the air too, did I mention that?

Pillow in the air!

Pillow in the air!

My Favourites

I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite shots from the event, followed by a gallery of photos at the end of this post.

Pillow-fight Toronto action

Pillow-fight Toronto action

Pillow-fight Toronto

She was having a good time!

Goggles is a nice touch

Thanks for looking at me!

Pillow-fight Toronto

Ooh, that’s got to hurt…or smell?

Pillow-fight Toronto

Stop horsing around!

 

The Golden Pillow!

The Golden Pillow!

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